About a month ago, my vegetarian boyfriend made me, a carnivorous cheese lover, sit down and watch Simon Amstell’s Carnage. By the next morning, I’d decided to go vegan (meanwhile he’s gone back to eating fish, the traitor). I’ve honestly been loving it so far, the food’s been great, I feel healthy, not to mention morally and ethically superior to everyone else in the entire world. (Kidding. Also I fucking miss cheese.) But what’s been really fun has been researching vegan and cruelty free make up and skincare brands, and beginning to slowly replace the products in my collection.
I started this week with a trip to Lush. I walked in on a mission, needing a cleanser, a weekly facial exfoliator, and a hand cream, because winter has been a bitch to my skin. If you’ve been to Lush before you’ll be familiar with their insanely good customer service – I was in and out in 10 minutes, leaving with fewer products than I thought I actually needed because they don’t oversell or push shit you don’t need. (This is also why I prefer shopping in Mac than in Benefit, and I’ve heard that this is because Benefit staff are on commission but Mac aren’t – could be bullshit, but interesting. Wow that should be my blog name??) I left happy with my new vegan and cruelty free additions, empowered by the shop assistant who told me veganism is “my own personal journey” (honestly she was so nice I wanna just live in Lush), and only £15.75 down.
So on to the products. First up, the cleanser. I opted for Let The Good Times Roll, a super gentle exfoliating cleanser. Now I know I said I don’t like two-in-one products, and I usually don’t, but this works like a dream. I’ve used daily exfoliators in the past that have honestly just been too rough on my sensitive skin, but this really is so soft and gentle I can’t imagine it causing problems for anyone – and having read the reviews online this does seem to be the case. In the pot, it has a thick, dough-like texture. The first thing you’ll notice is the gorgeous smell – cinnamon and sugar popcorn. It actually has real popcorn sprinkled on top – do not be fooled into thinking it tastes as good as it smells though because yes I am 23 years old and yes I did try. Anyway. You scoop up around a teaspoon and mix in the palm of your hand with warm water until it forms a paste, then simply massage into your face before rinsing. The active exfoliating ingredient is maize flour, which is much softer than equivalent natural exfoliators such as salt. I also find that I can control how much I exfoliate simply with how firmly I massage it in. This completely eliminated the need for me to buy a weekly exfoliator – Let The Good Times Roll is perfect for everyday. The only negative is that this is not a make up remover, so you’re gonna need to take it off before using or I would imagine you’d end up with a foundation-y pasty mess, and if you’re looking for something quicker this may not be for you. But if like me you double cleanse at the end of the day anyway, this is ideal. It leaves the skin feeling so soft, nourished, and most importantly cleansed, but without that tight squeaky-clean feeling some more chemical cleansers leave. I will 100% be going back for seconds.
Next is the Handy Gurugu hand cream. I can’t pretend I know a huge amount about hand creams, to be honest – they’ve always been something my mum buys that I help myself to liberally every winter (sorry, Mum). However, sick of days spent working in the library with horrible dry, flaky, itchy hands, I decided to splash out (spend £8.25) on my own, because if writing your dissertation isn’t reason enough for self indulgence then I give up, do you wanna write it for me?? So anyway, from what I’ve learned from the website and the gorgeous shop assistant, Handy Gurugu is a thicker, more heavy duty hand cream that’s perfect to slather on before bed, but can also be used in smaller quantities throughout the day. It’s completely vegan, full of natural ingredients such as shea, peanut, cashew and almond butters for hydration, rose water to reduce redness, evening primrose to calm the skin, and chamomile blue oil acting as an antiseptic. Handy Gurugu does not fuck about. It is a very heavy cream, and the pot might make it difficult to use on the go. It also smells a little like your granny’s soap (probably because of the rose water?), which some people might find irritating or just gross, but I actually love it. Not only are my hands softer and more comfortable but the skin is visibly brighter, something I didn’t realise I wanted or needed for my hands but I love, and if any of you saw my cuticles in my first blog post, you’ll be happy to know these are looking a lot better now, too. I’m a fan.
Slowly but surely, I’m making the switch to 100% vegan, and Lush has made it so easy to get off to a good start. Have you got any Lush faves? Are you going back to my first post to check out my rank cuticles? Have you also tried to eat a cosmetic product? Answers on the back of a postcard.